Interesting what Tommy and Phil are saying.
Looking back at how my own family and friends used to talk about anyone who wasn't white/Yorkshire-born/nominally protestant/local back in the 1960s/1970s, things wuz obviously very different. My mum, a very gentle soul not given to extremes of any kind, once described someone as a 'darkie', using the word purely as descriptive. [It was a bloke she actually liked - she was just trying to point him out to someone.] It felt very old fashioned to me as a teenager into soul music, growing up hearing James Brown saying [loud] he was 'black' and proud.
From about 14 years old, my view of African-Americans was that they were some incredibly talented and wonderful people to have created all this amazing art I loved, in the face of the obstacles the whites had put in their way for so long [and were still doing so]. So when JB and Curtis Mayfield and Gil Scott-Heron talked about 'black' folks I was only thinking of being black as positive thing. Logically, then, for me to say, 'That black guy over there' [when maybe he was the only one in amongst a bunch of white people], was for me never a negative thing. In the seventies that made me an exception - and, as usual, those around me who wanted call people 'nigger' and 'black bastard' basically never actually knew any black people [or hardly any], because there were virtually none in York at that time. There were no black kids at our school. At all. There was one British-Indian guy. At my brother's school there was one black lad.
Since doing my job, which as some of you know brings me into contact with Afro-Caribbean and African-American people every day of the week [wildlife lovers everywhere these days], they all still routinely talk about 'black' music and 'black' people, whether they're young or old, and they expect me to use the same word. I dunno, maybe that's because they know that after 30-odd years of doing what I do, I'm likely to be on the inside of the tent always pissing out?
So, I suppose, if Kiko said, in haste, 'Mark the black guy on the post', I'm unlikely to see racism in it as a first thought. But I'm not Leko. Or Kiko, come to that. Of course, after a teenage spent hero-worshipping African-American musicians, I did grow up and realise that - just like whites and every fucker else - some black guys can also be not very nice and/or thick, and that things are not actually always as perceived by any particular party. It's possible that Kiko is a racist - I don't know him at all - and it's also possible that Leko is assuming actual racist intent in something that had none in Kiko's mind.
Of course, if Kiko has been racist I'd be happy for him to be sacked. On the other hand, I don't have a lot of confidence in the football authorities to get this right [given the level of fines for less important stuff, like Spygate, when compared to actual obvious racism]. Guess we'll soon see.